I get this question a lot from my clients. “Ok, so I need to change my thoughts, but how?” This is called thought work and I cannot recommend it enough. This past year I dove into this head first (get it? head first, wink wink) while studying at The Health Coach Institute and also studying the teachings and coursework of Master Coach Instructor Brooke Castillo at The Life Coach School. The answers are in our mind. ALL of them. The patterns of our minds hold the key to all that we desire. Our thoughts create our feelings which drive our behavior and ultimately create our life experience. Thought work begins with awareness. Once you are aware of the thoughts that you are thinking, then positive healthy change is inevitable. Let’s take a closer look at this.
So now you are aware that you are thinking thoughts like, “I will never lose weight.” “I am not enough.” “I will never make enough money.” “I will never be happy.” “I am a bad mother.” “I can’t stop drinking.” “I hate my body.” Now what? First of all, these thoughts are not you. They are sentences in your mind that have been on a repeat cycle and your brain (the lower brain) is just trying to be as efficient as possible and trying to keep you safe which ultimately keeps you stuck. It’s time to get curious about those thoughts that you are having. They are signals from your brain that are coming to you with positive intentions even though it may not seem that way at the time. They are coming to you because they want YOU to make a different choice. Just observe them without judgement. This is a practice and takes time and it is also why so many of us search for the quickest way to feel better. Be that through food, alcohol, the internet, or overspending money. These are not healthy ways to go about creating happiness my friends. The habits that we have developed are actually killing us. Think about it. The foods we choose to eat that don’t require any preparation are killing us, the amount of alcohol that we consume on a regular basis to drown out our negative feelings and thoughts is killing us, social media might not be killing us, but if we keep allowing it to steal our time and precious moments and our joy, then it will only get worse and then overspending our money on clothes and items that we absolutely do not need only creates more clutter in our physical environment and stress and is yep, you guessed it, killing us. Investing in our health-our mental health especially is what our money needs to go toward hands down.
Okay, back to changing our thoughts. After becoming aware of your thoughts that are creating your feelings and your life experience, it is time to switch up to the higher brain and create thoughts that you can believe so that you can essentially change your life. This is what I help my clients with and it is my mission to spread the incredible tools of thought work on to as many people as I can. Let’s take the thought, “I will never lose weight” as an example. If this is a thought that you think a lot, it will be hard to shift to the thought “I lost the weight and am keeping it off” and actually believe it and feel better. We need to think of other thoughts first in order to get the mindset shift that we need to achieve weight loss. You can start with this:
You’re thinking “I will never lose weight.”
And then you could try thinking these:
-“I have lost weight before.”
-“One day I will lose weight.”
These thoughts are believable to you. It creates space around your original thought about weight loss, right? It opens up possibly even more thoughts that you can create and believe.
You can even insert a question of curiosity before the thought, like this:
-“Could I be wrong that I will never lose weight?”
Eventually with this thought work you will create and believe the thought, “I lost the weight and I am keeping it off.” The key to this thought work process is to train your mind to believe the new thoughts. If you went straight to the thought “I lost the weight and am keeping it off,” it might actually make you feel even worse about yourself. By creating thoughts that you can actually believe creates the momentum to shift your mind and to achieve the results you want.
This can be applied to any of your negative thoughts. You are going to have negative thoughts. There is no way around it. As I have said on Instagram, and I quote, “We think we always need rainbows and unicorns. When dragons and dark clouds show up we freak. We need the dragons and dark clouds just as much as we need the rainbows and unicorns. They aren’t nearly as beautiful without periods of just downright nasty.” We forget over and over again that we are in charge of our thoughts, our feelings, and our lives. Our lives are happening for us not to us my friends. And when we understand this and combine it with kick ass thought work like this, we are limitless. I can’t make this stuff up - it’s all around us. Your mind is the key.
So, to recap here. First and foremost, you have to become aware of the thoughts that you are thinking. Second, you have to look at your thoughts with curiosity. And third, you have to decide what thoughts you would like to think and believe instead.
I hope this was helpful.
Join me! Move Forth!